Have you ever taken part in an ultrasonic levitation experiment, or played a computer game using only your brainwaves for control? Now's your chance.
The capital's biggest jamboree of science, technology and research returns to the Royal Society next week. The RS is over 350 years old, and thumps the tub for UK science. Its annual Summer Science Exhibition presents the best of current research, with plenty of fun, games and live experiments to jolly things along.
This year, over 20 research teams will fill the halls of the Royal Society to show off their work. We always come away in a pique of jealousy at the staggering work these people do. You can chat, for example, to a team who sent a space probe to land on a comet. Another group has built a camera so fast that it can capture video of light pulses moving through the air. Yet another lab are investigating ways to grow human teeth from stem cells, potentially meaning an end to false dentures. The idea is that you just wander in as you please, move around the different displays, chat to the researchers and play with their kit.
A number of events take place throughout the week, too. The adults-only opening night (Monday) includes a set from the Science Showoff gang (a giddy combo of research + comedy + music), geeky songs from Helen Arney and co, and talks about insect sex and strange ice. Talks later in the week include the frontiers of computer science, the tiny world of the cell and an update on robotic spacecraft.
Best of all, this all takes place inside the palatial Royal Society building on Carlton House Terrace (next to The Mall), offering a chance to wander through its marbled interiors.
Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition takes place at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace from 1-6 July (special preview evening on 30 June). Times vary — check website for details. Entry is free, and you can just turn up when you like. Images used above are stills from the following preview: